A local reader had a Homeright 911 last week, and asked for paint sprayer tips. She was having a rough time with her Command Max (the earlier version of the Finish Max, I think the only difference is the name) I guess you can now call me the “paint DR” because I make house calls. I knew immediately that the problem was one of two issues. I assured her that I would help her finish her dresser, and take a look at her Homeright paint sprayer and solve her problem.
When I arrived on scene with my kitty litter bucket full of all my needed supplies, this is what I saw. The previous day Donetta had easily sprayed her first coat of DIY chalky paint as a primer on this dresser and all the drawers. That first coat went smoothly, but then she hit a glitch.
From her email:
I started painting at 1:30 today and just came in the house, now at 6:45 in tears. I was able to put one coat of primer and that is it. I used the primer recipe that you use. The first coat looked wonderful then all hell broke lose. I could not get my command max to work. The paint won’t come out. I spent multiple hours cleaning the sprayer and thinning the paint even more. I have paint all over my legs, clothes, and glasses.
As soon as I received her email, I wrote her right back. We’ve all had those DIY projects that have gone bad, right? I know I have. I agreed to drop by the next day—in all honesty—that’s because it was going to be the coolest day of the week. We’ve been having some June/July temps in early May, and I’m not happy about it.
So, She had done a bang up job on the first coat. I got right to work mixing up another batch of the DIY chalky paint primer for a second coat. I used my Finish Max to do a very quick coat on all the drawers and the dresser. Donetta was surprised how quickly I got that done. Then I asked her what she does for a living, and she is a nurse (bless her heart). I told her “there is no way I could go do your job. This is my job, I do this every day, that’s why I can make it look effortless”.
I cleaned up my Finish Max with the garden hose, then took a look at her Command Max while we waited for the paint to dry. The first thing I did was glance at her air filters. They looked a little dirty, but not so much that the machine was unable to “breathe”. This picture is from a time when I changed my air filters. A good way to reuse your filters is to sort of flip them around so the clean filter shows through the little diagonal slits. After you’ve used them all you can, it’s time to order some new filters. If your machine can’t have air intake, it won’t have enough air to push out your paint.
This video is from when I had a Command Max. I still clean my Finish Max in this exact same way when I am painting outdoors.
Next up was the second glance, and my suspicions were confirmed. There are two small air holes on either side of where the tube inserts. They can become clogged. I didn’t take a picture of the Command Max, it was hot, and we were sort of in a rush. I asked Donetta how she generally cleans her paint sprayer and she said in the kitchen sink. I highly recommend using the garden hose to clean your Finish Max. The garden hose with a nozzle attached has a lot more pressure and can clear all the crevices much better.
This foam splash guard is an accessory you can purchase online at Homeright to insure that water and paint will not get into the motor housing. It will also keep those holes clear.
After getting her Command Max fixed up, I continued with my Finish Max to put a coat of black paint on the dresser.
It was getting a little late, so I left Donetta to do the second coat of black using her Command Max the next day.
side note: I spoke to Donetta about getting “after” shots of her dresser. Things have not gone as planned. She thinks it is the paint she used. While trying to distress it, the paint was peeling. She’s used the DIY chalky paint primer before, but not in this paint.
These are some of the Finish Max accessories that I recommend. They are all available on Homeright.com. An extra paint cup will allow you to easily flush your sprayer in between coats, while storing your paint in the original cup—ready for that second coat.
If you clean your Finish Max in a utility sink, you will find the Rapid Clean Tool very useful. Simply connect it to your faucet to clean your sprayer.
Let’s sum this all up in some bullet points, shall we?
To keep your Command Max and Finish Max running smoothly, please do the following:
- Clean immediately after each use (see steps below)
- Insure that the holes on either side of the tube are clear of paint (or use a foam splash guard and be worry free
- Adjust or change your air filters on a regular basis
How I clean my Finish Max (between coats and when I’m finished for the day)
- Flush the sprayer with a paint cup of clean water
- Unplug the sprayer
- Remove the cup, rinse out with a garden hose
- Remove the paint tube, rinse with the garden hose
- Unscrew the plastic air cap ring, remove the winged spray cap and the inner spacer, rinse with the garden hose
- Unscrew the brass nozzle, use the garden hose to shoot a stream of water through the nozzle to thoroughly clean (the first time you remove this, you may need a wrench or pliers, after you replace it, hand tighten it and the next time you will be able to remove it easily)
- Use the hose on a gentle spray to rinse the rim and the foam splash guard (if not using a foam splash guard skip to #9)
- Remove the foam splash guard and clean it
- With the nozzle, tube, and all the plastic parts removed, I carefully shoot water into the rim where the tube is normally inserted, allowing the water to flow through the same path that my paint travels. (do not do this while the brass nozzle is still attached)
- I allow all my parts to dry, then replace everything and either do a second coat or store it away for the next project.
So, do you have any questions about using a Finish Max? I’m here to help.
UPDATED to add Donetta’s finished project! Isn’t it beautiful?
I love stain and paint together!
Nice job Donetta!
I am a proud Homeright Brand Ambassador. Although they furnish me with products, all thoughts, opinions and projects are my own. I wholeheartedly recommend purchasing a Finish Max.